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Questions That Need Answers: Here's What We Need To Know About Hurricane Harvey And The Relief Efforts

While Houstonians brave another impact of a torrential downpour, questions are beginning to loom on what can be done to cover all bases.

On August 26, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Houston, Texas, dispersing its Category 4 might upon the city's residents. Thousands of people have made it to shelters while others are still braving the flood, namely in Port Arthur, as they await assistance from fellow residents or government officials.

Since the storm's arrival, immediate action was taken to establish charities and donation services to get supplies to those in need. According to the Associated Press, nearly 50,000 homes have been damaged by flooding, and while Houstonians brave another impact of a torrential downpour, questions are beginning to loom on what can be done to cover all bases.

VIBE's staff compiled a list of questions that we, and likely the nation, are seeking the answers to, in order to help us prepare for our efforts to assist with recovery in Houston. If you're located near or have access to affected areas, please contact us at [email protected] to help direct our aid and donations.


1) What will happen to those who do not have flood insurance? Will there be government leniency? (Especially after Donald Trump's executive order).
2) How can people submit insurance claims before the deadline of the new bill's implementation? And if they don't make it in time, how can they file without being affected due to not having their paperwork with them?
3) How can major cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian, etc., help those who are displaced? Can they be docked nearby and used for shelter?
4) How can mental health facilities join in providing relief?
5) What plan will the government implement for future storms to provide immediate access to those who don't have the means to travel to safety?
6) Are there ways to send clean drinking water to the victims?
7) Which hotel chains in the surrounding areas are offering space to the flood victims? How are they helping with families that need to shower?
8) What happens to the sick in hospitals, who need consistent treatment, medicine, etc.?
9) Same for orphanages? Have there been ways to account for those children?
10) What role can public schools serve in a natural disaster?
11) With the school year starting, how will Hurricane Harvey affect students slated to begin pre-k or kindergarten? What about high school seniors? What about college graduates that are paying back student loans? Do they get a forbearance?
12) Are there translators designated at shelters to help assist those who don't speak English?
13) For those with no I.D. or banking cards, can prepaid cards be provided for them by banking institutions that can present their account information? Or a similar solution?
14) How will victims receive supplies that are flown/mailed to them by charities in other states?
15) Is there any way to shuttle/boat displaced people to shelters in other areas of Texas that have not been affected?
16) How are people with motor boats handling the dramatic increase in gas prices?
17) As these people become sick, because they will with close contact, freezing temperatures and contaminated food/water, what is the government and local/out of town medical teams doing to prepare?
18) Can those who lost their job in the wake of Harvey apply for unemployment?
19) What will Houston's economy look like a year from now due to Hurricane Harvey?
20) How will we fund efforts to rebuild Houston?
21) What is the likelihood climate change played a role in the hurricane's impact?
22) Are there plans to contain wildlife and protect civilians from dangerous animals? Are efforts being made to reunite pets with owners or find shelter for animals in need?
23) How have the elderly fared due to Hurricane Harvey? What supplies do they need? What about the supplies for the bed-ridden?
24) Are there other options outside of hospitals for the sick? Are any urgent care programs set up for those in need?
25) As we raise our own donations/goods, how can we get them to Houston without an organization?
26) How long will it take for the water to be drained in the affected areas? How long before families can even begin to go back home?

27) Can real estate firms offer model homes to residents?
28) Are apartments/homes/etc., postponing rent/mortgage fees?
29) Is there a database for missing or absent family members?
30) Food is running out. Panda Express shipped food, where is McDonald's, Starbucks, Chipotle, KFC, etc.?
31) How can we keep track and monitor medicine supply? What are the most common prescriptions?

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Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Imhotep Osiris Norman reportedly broke down in tears during his bond hearing Saturday. (April 13)

According to law enforcement at about 10:20 PM Friday, a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to pull Norman over on Highway 14 near the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Norman was doing 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.

When the car didn't stop. Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said Norman's vehicle began to spark and smoke during the pursuit.

As the car approached the 58-mile marker on Interstate 85, troopers say they saw a large bag be thrown from the window. A few minutes later, the car was totally engulfed in flames. The car reportedly slowed down and troopers attempted to block the road before Norman escaped.

After the fire extinguished investigators found Norman's 1-year-old daughter, Xena Rah’Lah Norman dead in the backseat.

In court, Norman alleges he didn't know the car was on fire.  “I would never leave my daughter,” Norman said. “I would have gotten my daughter out of that car.”

Norman's mother Sharon Mathesis said she doesn't believe the cops version of events. “My son loved his daughter and would have never let this happen,” Mathis said. “He loved her so much. He loved her so much.”

If convicted, Norman faces 20 years in prison.

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Flint Receives Remaining $77.7 Million Of Federal Funds To Improve Water Infrastructure

As the city of Flint, Mich. marks the five-year anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, the city is set to receive $77.7 million in federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the funding Monday (April 15),  as part of a $140 million loan to be allocated to Flint, East Lansing and Monroe County.  The funds for Flint are the remaining portion of a $120 million loan granted to the city in 2017, Mlive reports.

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Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Hiring Someone To Lynch His Black Neighbor

A white South Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years inside a federal prison for hiring someone to lynch his black neighbor and place a burning cross on the lawn.

According to the New York Times, Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26 (pictured above) was arrested last year after the FBI received a tip about his plans. Lecroy reportedly contacted an unidentified white supremacist organization to assist with the murder-for-hire but instead was approached by an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman.

The agent reportedly told Lecroy over the phone "$500 and he's a ghost." According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lecroy made a down payment of $100 and was then taken into custody.

The South Carolina United States attorney's office said Lecroy received the maximum sentence on Friday (April 12) after pleading guilty, as well as three years supervision.

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